£6.4m EU-backed project gets green light

Professor Julie Lydon

Professor Julie Lydon


A £6.4m EU-backed project to drive forward research to help businesses develop cutting-edge technologies and boost productivity will be announced by Cabinet Secretary for Finance and Local Government, Mark Drakeford, today. [08.07.16]

The CEMET project (Centre of Excellence in Mobile and Emerging Technologies), led by the University of South Wales, has been given the go ahead with £4.2m backing from the European Regional Development Fund through the Welsh Government. It will help Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs) in the Valleys, West and North Wales design and test new mobile and emerging technologies to create products and services for commercial success.

Mark Drakeford said: “We are determined to deliver our EU funding programmes and maximise the EU funds available to us as our people, businesses and communities need this investment. EU funds will help CEMET to utilise the knowledge and expertise within our universities to help businesses develop new products and services, and improve their competitive edge, leading to greater business growth and prosperity.”

Professor Julie Lydon, Vice-Chancellor of the University of South Wales, said: “We are delighted to be leading on the CEMET project, which further highlights USW’s’ expertise in the computer technology sector. This project demonstrates the commitment and vital role of higher education in building economic growth and jobs in Wales.  It is an example, following the recent EU referendum, of Welsh universities sending a message beyond our shores that Britain is not turning its back on the world.”

As part of the project, CEMET will also provide a comprehensive package of support to develop products through road-mapping and knowledge transfer to help SMEs explore the process of developing new and emerging technologies, converting their ideas into products and services and then taking them to market.

The Cabinet Secretary made the funding announcement as he met with members of the EU Structural and Investment Funds Programme Monitoring Committee to discuss the implications of the UK’s withdrawal from the EU. The Committee, which is responsible for monitoring the effective delivery of the programmes, comprise key figures from across all sectors in Wales.

While the First Minister will be leading Wales’ negotiations with the UK Government over the conditions of the UK’s withdrawal from the EU, Mark Drakeford said:

“This is an opportunity to hear the views of our partners and to reassure them that the Welsh Government will work tirelessly to ensure Wales will not be financially worse off as a result of the impending UK exit from the EU.

“While Brexit arrangements are being made for the longer term, we have a very healthy pipeline of project proposals and we will continue to make vital investments to projects which can support our programme targets on jobs, support for business, and helping people into work and training.”